Welcome to HTBomb's Magical Hot Wheels. I played with Mattel Hot Wheels when I was a kid and began collecting them as an adult in 1996 shortly after leaving a 79 cent limited edition Treasure Hunt Passion on the pegs at KMart. That car is now worth $100! Several months later I found and bought three Treasure Hunts at Target. I was hooked.

I am interested in buying childhood collections of toy cars: Hot Wheels, Matchbox, Corgi, Husky, Dinky and Topper Johnny Lightning; Slot cars from Cox, Aurora and Tyco AF/X; Plastic model kits from AMT, Monogram, MPC. Please contact me via my website link below.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Hot Wheels Red Baron

One of the most famous, best-selling and iconic Hot Wheels of all time, Red Baron started life in 1968 as a hugely popular Monogram plastic model kit designed by Tom Daniel.

1968 Red Baron model kit by Monogram
In 1970 Mattel, who owned Monogram for several years, decided to expand its Hot Wheels lineup with cars based on successful model kits: Red Baron, Paddy Wagon and Sand Crab.  Unlike most early Hot Wheels, Red Baron was only produced in one color: Spectraflame red.  Notice that fenders were added by Mattel's designers.

1970 Hot Wheels Red Baron

During the 1960s the Peanuts comic strip brought us Snoopy flying his imaginary Sopwith Camel and fighting the Red Baron.  This would also be the subject of a Monogram plastic model kit.

In 1966 there was a hit single by a Tampa, Florida group called The Royal Guardsman.

The Red Baron model kit was so popular that a real hot rod was built for display at car shows.

1969 Show Car

In 1973 Mattel had to cut production costs and chose to replace the Spectraflame paint with enamel and removed the black crosses from the helmet.

1973 Hot Wheels Red Baron

Look for the 1/12 scale Big Red Baron Monogram kit build-up and Hot Wheels car on display at the Air & Space Museum in Washington, DC.

Big Red Baron and Hot Wheels

According to Tom Daniel the Hot Wheels Red Baron is the second biggest seller of all time.  He suggests it would be the biggest seller if only it was politically correct.

The Hot Wheels Red Baron appeared in the hit movie Toy Story. Buzz Lightyear hops aboard and rides it down the classic orange track, through the loop, and to infinity and beyond via the jump ramp.  Great stuff.

Sadly Tom never received royalties for his Hot Wheels designs because Monogram considered him a paid staff designer.  That wasn't the case when Johnny Lightning introduced many of his other classic designs in the 1990s.  Toy Zone worked with him more recently to create a lineup of toys based on his classic designs.

If you're truly a Red Baron fan, for starters you'll want Tom Daniel's 1:18 Scale Red Baron Hot Rod and the reissue of the classic #6740 Monogram Red Baron with Fokker Triplane 1/24 Scale Plastic Model Kit.  For the kids (or kid in you) try Tom Daniel SHOWROD RACING Track Set with RED BARON Vehicle from Toy Zone

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Today I Opened a Hot Wheels Fast Cash

2011 Fast Cash

With a dollar-sign grille, vault doors, combination lock on rear, and metal body this armored hot rod makes a great money clip or business card holder. (According to the package!)

The wing top will indeed hold a dollar bill or business card but not securely as it easily rises and flaps around loose, I suspect so young kids don't hurt their fingers.  Working features add another dimension to Hot Wheels (last year we were introduced to a bottle opener, Carbonator, and a nut wrench, Tooligan

The car's design works at two levels: with the top on it looks like a swoopy fastback with spoiler at the rear.  With with the wing-top removed it takes on a cool chop-top hot rod look; the hole for the clip looking like a sunroof.  So if you (or your kids) lose the top no one will know!

I like the metallic green fender's color, though plastic, and chunky diecast engine/grille.  The studded metallic silver body is diecast but looks plastic.  There are numerous currency symbols hidden in the chassis details which is a nice touch. 

This car was influenced by one of my favorite Tom Daniel designs the Jinx Express model kit from the 70s.  The model is a working piggy bank and has a slot for depositing coins in the gun turret and a rear "vault" door that opens with a working combination lock! The door is a large round dial on the back and the Fast Cash has a similar, though non-working, feature. A bit of black paint would bring out the dollar sign in the Fast Cash's grille, another Tom Daniel feature. 

1971 Jinx Express

 A few years later Tom created this variation, the Fast Buck.  Fast Buck, Fast Cash, get it?!  And then there's the Hot Wheels Funny Money also influenced by Tom and covered previously in my blog.
1973 Fast Buck
All in all the Fast Cash is a nice casting that should appeal to the kids as well as adults.  And you're not taking much of a cash risk for a buck and it's only money anyway.

 Sigh No More

I have no idea why Amazon suggested this CD by Mumford & Sons but these guys were incredible performing with Bob Dylan on this year's Grammy Awards and Sigh No More has some great songs.

Victory Vintage Signs - Jinx Armor Truck Sign - Tom Daniels Hot Rod Metal Sign

Victory Vintage Signs - Jinx Armor Truck Sign - Tom Daniels Hot Rod Metal Sign

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Hot Wheels The Heavweights Series

DThe Heavyweights Series was introduced in 1970 and 1971.  It featured heavy weight work vehicles including a tow truck, fire truck, scooper, etc.  To quote the blister pack they came these were "Fast movin' hard workin' haulers!".  Unlike Hot Wheels cars these were named rather matter-of-factly after their purpose, i.e., Tow Truck, Moving Van, Dump Track, Ambulance, etc.  They had highly stylized cabs with large fantasy-type bubble windows very much of their day and rather modern looking.

Moving Van

Most vehicles were comprised of either a removable cab/trailer or one-piece base/cab painted in different Specrtralame colors.  One cool thing about the series is that the some of the bases could be interchanged.  For example, you could simply lift the trailer with its ball joint from this moving van and put it on the fire truck.  It was a little trickier with one-piece bases as you'd have to pry the snap-on parts off.
Waste Wagon
 The Waste Wagon can flip payload into the open container.
Dump Truck

Race Team
Some of my favorite Heavyweights form a race team: Racer Rig, Fuel Tanker, Team Trailer and The Pit Crew car in back was not part of the series for whatever readon .  The Racer Rig featured extending ramps and opening tool box (Strip Teaser racer pictured here not included).
Tow Truck

The Tow Truck's metal tow hook extends out to actually tow a car. 

Not pictured are the Ambulance, Cement Mixer, Fire Engine or S'Cool Bus which was based on Tom Daniel's popular Monogram plastic model kit.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Today I Opened A '70 Chevelle SS Wagon

Today I opened a '70 Chevelle SS Wagon from the Hot Wheels Garage series.  To my surprise there was a dent in the hood just forward of the hood scoop as well as related paint damage.  The blister pack showed no signs of abuse.  

Now I'm sorry but it's bad enough I have to put up with dents and dings on my real car; toy cars are fantasy.

For more about the Chevelle family may I suggest Chevelle SS 1964-1972: A Muscle Car Source Book or if you prefer large scale diecast Revell 1:25 '70 Chevelle SS 454.